Saint Caligula??!

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Geon, Feb 16, 2015.

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  1. Threadmarks: Caligula is Healed

    Geon Well-Known Member

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    Jul 22, 2010
    I don't know if this has been done before but it is an idea that has been circulating in my mind for a while now. I would like to present this opening part of the story and see what the general reaction is to it before I proceed. Please note that my references to the Jews in accordance with the writing of the times refers to the Jewish leaders and is not meant to be anti-Semitic in any way shape or form.


    The Conversion and Life of Saint Gaius also called Caligula
    By Geon
    When Caligula fell ill in Rome there was great fear throughout the city. It was whispered that the young emperor had been poisoned by those who were jealous of his ascension to power. All of Rome was saddened and fearful that their “little boots”, as he was so often nicknamed would die. In the temples many offered sacrifices and prayers to the gods on behalf of the emperor. And in the palace servants quietly aided the physicians as they attempted to save the young man’s life.

    Now it happed that one of those servants was a follower of the Way. He went to one of the Roman centurions who guarded the Emperor and said, “There is one who may be able to heal the Emperor. In the city there is a man named Clement, who is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. He is a godly man, full of the Holy Spirit. Send for him.For all the physicians seem unable to do anything to help the emperor.

    The Roman centurion was astonished at the boldness of the servant and decided to do as he suggested. He sent a Roman guard to find Clement and ask him to come to the palace. Clement agreed, even though many in the church were fearful that this was some sort of deception to arrest him, for the Jews had been making terrible accusations about the Christians in Rome of late before the magistrates. Nevertheless, Clement said he would come with the guards and returned to the palace with them.

    When Clement was brought into the inner rooms of the palace he saw Caligula lying upon his couch in great distress, and there was hardly any breath left in him. Clement came up to the couch and laid his hands on Caligula and said, “Little boots,” the Lord Jesus Christ bids you get up. Immediately the illness left Caligula and he rose from his couch and looked around in wonder.

    Caligula then asked what had happened and Clement said, “You have been ill most excellent Caligula, but Jesus Christ has healed you of your illness. Now if you will hear your servant please eat something that you may regain your strength.” Caligula immediately ordered food not only for himself but for Clement, and the servants brought bread, fruit, cheese, and wine. And when they had brought the food Caligula asked Clement to dine with him.

    Caligula then asked, “Who is this Jesus you speak of, for I know very little of him?” Immediately, Clement began to speak to Caligula of the faith. For several hours Clement spoke with Caligula and it was clear Caligula was very moved by what he heard. When Clement told Caligula how Jesus had been falsely accused by the Jewish leaders before Pontius Pilate he ordered that a transcript of the trial be found and brought to him. He further asked that Clement would return to speak with him further on the faith. Clement agreed and the Roman guard saw him safely to his home.
     
  2. vandevere vonhooligan

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    I foresee some very bad times ahead for one Pontius Pilate...
     
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  3. Whitewings Well-Known Member

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    Nov 23, 2013
    Perhaps not. The Pharisees didn't bribe Pilate; they suborned the crowd, who then chose Jesus Barrabas to be pardoned instead of Jesus of Nazareth. Pilate abided by the crowd's choice because to do otherwise would have started a riot, and the Roman authorities were quite literally sudden death on rioters. His famous "washing his hands" was basically saying to the Pharisees, "This is your doing, not mine."
     
  4. SlyDessertFox Warren/Castro 2020

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    No offense, but this belongs in ASB. Not necessarily because Caligula suddenly becomes a follower of Jesus (Though that's highly improbably itself. who is Clement by the way? The earliest mention of a Clement I can find is Pope Clement I and he doesn't pop up until late in the 1st century) but because Clement just magically heals Caligula instantly.
     
  5. Whitewings Well-Known Member

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    That statement is an in-universe assertion by a medieval churchman, not an established fact.
     
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  6. lokaloki Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2012
    I think, it is the common place of "A Conversion and Life of Saint Username".
     
  7. Zlorfik Banned

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    Jan 25, 2015
    The title of this thread is also my reaction to it.
     
  8. NCW8 Go, Lemmings, Go!

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    Not Pilate, but the Jews might have an even worse time than OTL, apart from those that have converted to Christianity. A Roman Inquisition ?

    Luckily the Book of Revelation probably hasn't been written yet. Just imagine if Caligula got the idea that he was the returned Christ:


    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
  9. Evan Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness!

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    I'm looking forward to this!

    This would be only around 5-8 years after Christ's death, so the apostles are still live and active in Jerusalem. Paul might be meditating in Arabia, or perhaps preaching in Cilicia (Galatians 1:15-21; q.v. Acts 9:26-31). It's a little earlier than our first evidence of Christianity being preached in Rome, but quite plausible considering Roman Jews would probably have been at Jerusalem for Pentecost. And even without any divine intervention, Caligula was mentally unbalanced enough for it not to be completely out of the realm of plausibility for him to adopt such a new religion.

    How orthodox he is, of course, remains to be tested... as does how the Church will react to such an unbalanced but eminent patron...
     
  10. Timaeus Βασιλεύς τῆς Ζωσῠνῐ́ᾱς

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    i am shocked, intrigued, disturbed, excited, and filled with the feeling of i-have-no-idea-but-i'm-sure-this-will-be-fun. :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::D:p:):eek::D:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
  11. Yuelang Tr'ump fhtagn Banned

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    I shall subscribe on this totally radical timeline! :D

    Go Saint Caligula! GO!
     
  12. Xenophonte Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non præstat.

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    Interesting.
     
  13. Threadmarks: Caligula Appears to the Crowds

    Geon Well-Known Member

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    Part One Continued

    Thank you all for the comments both good and bad. Before I begin let me address one question -slydessertfox if you will look in Phil 4:3 you will find reference to a Clement there. Clement was according to tradition a disciple of St. Paul and St. Peter, and took over the duties of the church in Rome from Peter after his martyrdom.

    As to the style of the writing, the document-as I will indicate when I have finished - is being written as if it were a narrative written at the time of what is happening. This is normally not the style I personally write in so bear with me. This document's "pedigree" will be explained at the end of this particular piece.

    Now here is a short update.

    -----------------------------------------------​
    Then Caligula went out and presented himself to the people of Rome. The people rejoiced greatly at the recovery of their “little boots” and praised the gods as they believed it was them that had healed their emperor. But Caligula interrupted them and said, “Not so,” rather it was the working of Jesus of Nazareth whose followers are among us now that allows me to stand before you alive and healthy. It is to him you should give thanks.

    Many in the crowd were puzzled at what the emperor said for as yet the Way was still not widely known in Rome, but many more responded with shouts of thanksgiving to this “new god” that had come into their midst.

    The next day as evening came Clement once more was brought before Caligula. Now, Caligula had ordered the transcripts of the trial of Jesus brought to him and was examining them when Clement came in. Caligula said to Clement, “I have reviewed the sentence of Pilate and like him I find no basis for a charge against your Jesus. It appears that Pilate was forced to condemn this man because of the hatred of a few of the Jewish leaders who sought the life of Jesus out of jealousy. If you desire it I will have these men brought to Rome in chains for theirs is the true crime. Clement replied, “May it please the emperor, our Lord teaches us to forgive those who act spitefully against us. Let these men be. For God will certainly visit judgment upon them in due time. Caligula agreed to this, but also decreed that a full pardon must be issued by the governor of Jerusalem to pardon Jesus of any charges against him.[1]

    Then the Emperor asked Clement to dine with him again. And while they were dining he asked Clement to tell him more of Jesus of Nazareth. Clement agreed and spent much of the rest of the evening with Caligula. At the end of that time, Caligula once more had the guard see Clement safely home and asked him to come again next evening, and Clement agreed.

    [1] There have been several “Pardons of Jesus” discovered over the years. The earliest written one dates from the 7th century AD. None of them has been confirmed to be the one referred to here.
     
  14. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    Any chance this was inspired by my "earliest christian emperor" thread?
     
  15. Roger II Well-Known Member

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    Yea in-universe this is pretty obviously a hagiographic saint's life and in fact it seems to be a very close imitation of the Doctrina Addai.
     
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  16. Blackfox5 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 2, 2010
    At this point in time, there is very little distinction between Christians and Jews in the sense of Christianity being a separate religion from Judaism. It is more a struggle between factions about who gets to define Judaism since the Christians by and large are operating in the Jewish tradition but claim that the Messiah has come.

    The separation between Christianity and Judaism is still to come as more Gentiles become Christian and don't adopt Jewish ways, and the Jewish Revolts against Rome saw the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and claims by others as being the messiah.

    During the time of Caligula, Christians are just Jews who claim someone was the messiah.

    If Caligula truly converts at this time, he is more or less becoming a Jew.
     
  17. Blackfox5 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 2, 2010
    It doesn't require belief that there was real magical healing. It could be coincidence or the placebo effect. There are lots of such stories in hagiography. Whether you believe such stories actually happened is a different matter, but the story itself doesn't need to be ASB.
     
  18. mrmandias Regent

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    I don't find the POD all that implausible (unlikely, sure, but unlikely things happen) but it would be implausible if Caligula became a convinced, open Christian and still retained power for long. OTL Caligula got assassinated for being a wierdo creep by contemporary Roman standards; no reason he should not be in ATL also. That would explain the sainthood. Caligula would be remembered as a martyr.
     
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  19. Roger II Well-Known Member

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    Asōrestān
    Yea, my current assumption is that the conversion happened for other reasons(eccentricity, influence from a close christian friend, whatever) and the healing is a literary device introduce from the genre's toolkit.
     
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  20. THE OBSERVER Independent Progressive

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    This thread is extremely daring.
     
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